(BPT) – Pop quiz: When was the last time you took a vacation? A real vacation, not one of those staycations where you stuck around town to finish a project at your home? Do you even remember your last vacation? If you don’t, then you are officially vacation deprived.
And you’re not alone.
Research from Expedia’s 2017 Vacation Deprivation report shows that 50 percent of Americans are vacation deprived and that approximately 462 million vacation days will go unused this year. The study also found that millennials are the most vacation-deprived age group and that people who live in urban areas reported being more vacation deprived than those who lived in suburban or rural areas.
What’s causing the vacation deprivation?
Not surprisingly, time and money – or lack thereof – were two of the most common reasons people reported not using their vacation. Another large group of respondents said that even when they find time to go on vacation, they struggle to unplug. A quarter said they still check email and/or voicemails every day while on vacation, with millennials being the most common offenders.
Finding an ideal vacation for you
If you’ve felt vacation deprived for the past year – or longer – then there’s no better time than the present to take the vacation you always wanted and leave your vacation deprivation behind for good. To get you started on the vacation of your dreams, the experts at Expedia offer these tips.
* Back to the beach. Many places throughout the Caribbean and Florida were minimally affected by the recent hurricanes and are welcoming tourists. Destinations like the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Aruba and the Bahamas are still the exotic getaways you always dreamed they’d be, and when you visit them, you’ll actually be supporting hurricane recovery efforts for the whole region through your tourist dollars.
* Book right. The holidays are a wonderful time to travel because schools and offices are closed. However, many other would-be travelers are thinking the same thing; that’s why knowing when to book and when to fly is key for saving time and money. For Christmas travel, for example, Expedia has found that booking between Dec. 5 and 11 will yield you about 5 percent in savings. Furthermore, avoid the peak holiday travel days by leaving a day early and staying a day later.
* Bundle and save. Another often-overlooked way to save a ton of money on travel is to book your flight and hotel or flight and rental car at the same time as part of a travel package. Booking as a package can save an average of up to $ 600, and that extra money will come in handy while you’re enjoying your vacation or shopping for holiday gifts.
* Member-only deals. A really simple way to save on hotels and activities is by logging in when you visit Expedia.com. When signing in with your account information, you’ll immediately see hotels and activities available at a 10 percent discount. Members also get points for every booking, which can be used to shave dollars off your next trip.
* Precheck, precheck, precheck. Save yourself a lot of time and security line headaches by applying for TSA precheck. You’ll get to skip the longest lines at security and keep your shoes on. It’s absolutely worth the $ 85 fee, and your application lasts five years.
Start your travel plans today
If you’ve been vacation deprived, don’t continue to settle for being just another statistic. You work hard for your vacation time and you deserve to get away. Pick a destination you want to visit, apply the tips above and start planning. It’s the best way to turn yourself from another case of vacation deprivation into a vacation inspiration.
* The history of the Australian Outback stretches back at least 50,000 years. In Aboriginal mythology, the Outback was created by ancient spirits who moved across the land, calling animals, plants, rocks and other landforms into being as they went. These stories belong to the Dreamtime and are part of the Outback’s rich cultural history.
When the first English colonists came to Australia in the 1770s they settled on the continent’s east coast. By the mid-1880s, the settlers had begun to explore Australia’s arid interior, driven partly by a desire to discover what was unknown to them, and partly by a desire to realise the Outback’s mineral and agricultural promise.
Australia’s Outback history from 1880 onwards is a saga of exploration and development, demonstrating the triumph of a pioneering spirit.
Pastoralists followed in the explorers’ footsteps, establishing Outback cattle stations in some cases as large as a European country. Gold, silver and opals provided more good reasons for the hardy and the enterprising to embrace the Outback’s wild beauty. These men and women battled relentless heat, flash floods and deprivation. In doing so, they forged a unique identity characterised by a bone-dry sense of humour and an astounding spirit or adventure.
The Outback continues to be shaped by remarkable individuals and ancient cultures. Indigenous populations, along with drovers, swagmen, pastoralists, flying doctors, pioneering men and women, prospectors and shearers have all contributed to an Outback history that’s rich, resilient and inspiring.
Visit an historic cattle station. The descendants of the famous Australian pastoral family, the Duracks, can be found at Ray Station, near Quilpie in the far south-western corner of Queensland. The 600-sq km sheep and cattle property was settled in 1874 by Patsy and Sarah Tully (nee Durack), and it remains one of few properties in Australia never to have changed hands since white settlement.
Discover Coober Pedy’s unique underground history. Opal prospectors at Coober Pedy came up with a great way to escape the desert heat – not only did they work underground, but they lived there too. These miners converted Coober Pedy’s underground caves into fully-equipped homes and hotels, providingall the comforts found above ground. Visitors can sleep underground,as well as explore underground museums, potteries, opal shops, an art gallery and, of course, opal mines.
Explore the Outback’s Indigenous history at Mungo National Park in New South Wales. The World Heritage-listed Willandra Lakes Region, with Mungo National Park at its centre, maintains a continuous record of human occupation dating back 40,000 years. Rain and wind have uncovered ancient fireplaces and hearths, as well as artefacts, stone tools and animal bones, providing some of the world’s oldest evidence of homo sapiens.
Put yourself in the air with a ‘Flying Doctor’. On 17 May 1928, an emergency call for help from the Outback town of Julia Creek was answered by Australia’s first flying doctor. This airborne emergency service was started by a Presbyterian minister, Reverend John Flynn, who envisaged Outback Australia protected by ‘a mantle of safety’. Visitors to the Broken Hill RFDS base, which is open to the public each day, can explore the Mantle of Safety Museum which showcases over 80 years of remarkable Outback history.
Take a walk along Silverton’s Heritage trail. Built in 1880 on the back of the region’s mineral wealth, Silverton in Outback New South Wales was once a booming silver-mining town. But the discovery of significantly larger mineral deposits at nearby Broken Hill proved to be Silverton’s demise, and the town now stands as a ghostly monument to past dreams. Film-lovers may recognise it from scenes in Mad Max 2, A Town Like Alice, and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
Visit the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve. The station marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs and was established in 1872 as part of the Overland Telegraph Line. It is the best preserved of the 12 stations along the line between Adelaide and Darwin. The town of Alice Springs takes its name from the waterhole a short distance to the east of the station buildings.
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